Police Reform

Coverage of civil action, news events and policy change pertaining to policing in Chicago, Illinois and the U.S.

“Our downtown is half-vacant, a ghost town in the middle of the workweek. Our schools have lost a year of learning or more. Test scores have plummeted. Every public agency is facing a financial cliff,” Vallas told the City Club of Chicago.
On $800 million in tax increases to pay for an array of new social programs, he told the City Club of Chicago, “I’m ready and willing to negotiate the details.”
Former U.S. Education Secretary calls Vallas “our best hope for a safer Chicago” because of his ability to “tell police the truth and hold them accountable.”
Public trust in police has eroded, the number of officers has dwindled and crime has risen. So what comes next for a department pushing to comply with sweeping reforms?
Chicago has spent $23 million on outside lawyers to defend lawsuits involving former Det. Reynaldo Guevara— and eight new cases were filed this week.
The city’s inspector general cited the Hilco smokestack demolition debacle as one of 11 “missed opportunities” where interdepartmental coordination could have been improved had a chief administrative officer been on the job — as is required under city code.
Neither the city’s longtime negotiator, Jim Franczek, nor Mayor Lori Lightfoot commented on the situation.
PAC chief says she doesn’t trust Vallas to support women’s reproductive rights, while 23rd Ward Ald. Silvana Tabares blasts Johnson’s vow to end $33M ShotSpotter gunshot alert contract.
CPD Supt. David Brown said Officer Jerald Williams’ use of force against Bernard Kersh in 2019 was “massively excessive,” and recommended a 135-day suspension.
Paul Vallas, former Chicago Public Schools CEO, has secured a spot in the April 4 Chicago mayoral runoff.
Brandon Johnson, Cook County commissioner, has secured a spot in the April 4 Chicago mayoral runoff.
“If you defund the police, how are they gonna do their jobs?” Wilson asked.
On the eve of the first debate of the mayoral runoff election, the Chicago Sun-Times asked several prominent political strategists and seasoned debate coaches to offer their advice to the two candidates.
John Catanzara Jr. captured nearly 57% of the 7,192 votes for president of Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge 7. His opponent, Robert Bartlett, had argued that Catanzara’s confrontational approach alienated potential union allies.
The wave of high-level departures under Brown will make it difficult for the new mayor to find an insider who is qualified, battle-tested — and wants the job.
Both candidates in the April 4 mayoral runoff election, Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson, like all of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s challengers, had vowed to fire Brown as their first order of business.
With nine candidates and mail-in ballots still arriving, it could take a while to declare the top finishers.
Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson “is committed to making sure that the trauma that I endured ... never happens to another person,” said Anjanette Young, whose home was raided by Chicago police in 2019.
The businessman also vowed to put armed police officers on CTA trains and buses to lure back riders who have abandoned the transit system in droves.
Scheduling conflicts kept Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson and businessman Willie Wilson away from the forum, so community activist Ja’Mal Green and retiring Ald. Roderick Sawyer had the stage to themselves.
Even if Mayor Lori Lightfoot is reelected and allows the police boss to keep his job, in October, Brown turns 63, the mandatory retirement age for Chicago’s police officers.
Johnson’s lengthy list includes“training and promoting” 200 new detectives and launching a “comprehensive efficiency audit” to identify savings, such as streamlining the number of “non-sergeant” police supervisors.
Bob Bartlett, a veteran CPD detective, is trying to unseat union president John Catanzara. Like Catanzara, Bartlett is no fan of Mayor Lori Lightfoot or CPD Supt. David Brown — but he disagrees with Catanzara’s scorched-earth rhetoric.
Some City Council members were furious over plans to settle the lawsuit by the mother of Sharell Brown, noting the Civilian Office of Police Accountability concluded Brown was armed and posed a threat to Chicago police officers.